- Introduction: What is Forensic Science & History?
- Polygraph Machines
- Other Equipment: Fingerprinting, Police Cars
- Timeline of Police Technology 1850 - 1960, 1960 - 1996
FingerprintingIn the 19th century it was observed that contact between someone's hands and a surface left barely visible and marks called fingerprints. Fine powder (dusting) was used to make the marks more visible.
Modern fingerprint identification dates from 1880, when the British scientific journal Nature published letters by the Englishmen Henry Faulds and William James Herschel describing the uniqueness and permanence of fingerprints.
Their observations were verified by the English scientist Sir Francis Galton, who designed the first elementary system for classifying fingerprints based on grouping the patterns into arches, loops, and whorls. Galton's system was improved upon by London police commissioner, Sir Edward R. Henry. The Galton-Henry system of fingerprint classification, was published in June 1900, and officially introduced at Scotland Yard in 1901. It is the most widely used method of fingerprinting to date.